Assessing

Office Hours are Monday through Thursday – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Town of Bennington contracts with Cross Country Appraisal Group, LLC for the technical assistance required to accurately appraise and assess real estate in Town.

2014 full revaluation is underway. The State of NH has determined the Town of Bennington’s equalization ratio to be 114.3% (2013).

Although we contract out the technical portion of our assessing services, the Board of Selectmen and staff in the office are responsible for:

  • Maintaining property record cards
  • Administering the Current Use Program
  • Administer all Tax Exemption/Credit Programs in accordance with State Law
  • Administer the Timber and Gravel programs in accordance with State Law
  • Provide assessing data to taxpayers and local real estate professionals, etc.
  • Update tax maps 

At this time, our tax cards and tax maps are NOT available online.

How and why are properties appraised?
In New Hampshire, municipalities are required to adjust property values at least every five years to keep in line with market values. Accurate appraisals require constant searching for significant facts to accumulate and analyze, in order to estimate the fair market value of properties. For a revaluation, the assessor first reviews all the property to be assessed, and then places values according to their fair market value. In addition, properties that have had changes that affect value are adjusted annually to reflect those changes, so that all assessments are reasonably proportional with the town.

What if I think my assessment is too high?
If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the assessor’s, we will be glad to answer your questions about how the assessed value was arrived at, and explain how to appeal if you still disagree. Without complete and precise data, however, equity is impossible. You can help by allowing in-house reviews, and providing us with accurate information.

How do I appeal my assessment?
The taxpayer may file an Abatement Application with the Town after the due date of the final tax bill (which is typically due December 1st) until March 1st of the following year. The Town has until July 1st to grant or deny the application. Simply stating that your value is too high is insufficient. Gather as much information as you can on similar properties in your neighborhood. Abatement application forms are available at the Town Hall or you can click here to print an application.

Note: Applying for a property tax abatement does not mean you can postpone paying your taxes. Taxes should be paid as assessed, by the deadline stated on your tax bill, or you will be subject to interest charges. If an abatement is granted, a refund with interest will be made.

What are the grounds for an appeal of my assessment?
Municipalities may abate taxes “for good cause shown”, per RSA 76:16. Good cause is generally established by proving your property’s assessment is either inaccurate or disproportionate. You need to prove at least one of the following:

  1. Items that affect value are incorrect on your property record, such as you have 1 ½ bathrooms and not 2; or your garage measures 24 x 26 not 24 x 28; or a survey shows your acreage is different.
  2. The assessed value is accurate but inequitable, because it is higher than other similar properties.
  3. The assessed value is too high; similar properties have been selling for less than your equalized assessment (see below for how to determine your equalized assessment); and/or you have a professional appraisal indicating a lesser value.

What is the Equalization Ratio?
The equalization ratio indicates the relationship between assessed value and market value. This ratio is determined for each municipality every year by the NH Department of Revenue Administration through a study of the qualified sales that occurred within the municipality during the previous year. The equalization ratios are usually made public early the following year.

Tax Exemption/Credit Information

Application for Property Tax Credit/Exemptions

Veteran’s Tax Credit Program

General Provisions

1.   The following persons shall qualify for the Veteran’s Tax Credit:

  • Resident of this State for at least one year preceding April 1, in the year in which the credit claimed
  • Served not less than 90 days in the armed forces of the United States in any qualifying war or armed conflict listed below and was honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from service; or the spouse or surviving spouse of such resident;
  • Every resident of this State who terminated from the armed forces because of service-connected disability; or the surviving spouse of such resident;
  • The surviving spouse of any resident who suffered a service-connected death.

2.     Qualifying war or armed conflict:

  • “World War I” between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918, extended to April 1, 1920 for service in Russia; provided that military or naval service on or after November 12, 1918 and before July 1, 1921, where there was prior service between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 shall be considered as World War I service;
  • “World War II” between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946;
  • “Korean Conflict” between June 25, 1950 and January 31, 1955;
  • “Viet Nam Conflict” between December 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975’
  • “Viet Nam Conflict” between July 1, 1958 and December 22, 1961, if the resident earned the Viet Nam service medal or the armed forces expeditionary medal;
  • “Persian Gulf War” between August 2, 1990 and the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law; and
  • Any other war or armed conflict that has occurred since May 8, 1975, and in which the resident earned an armed forces expeditionary medal or theater of operations service medal.

3.     The Veteran’s tax credit shall be $500 subtracted each year from the property tax on his residential property. However, the surviving spouse of a resident who suffered a service-connected death may have the sum subtracted from the property tax on any real property in the same municipality where the surviving spouse is a resident.

Surviving Spouse (RSA 72:29a)
The surviving spouse of any person who was killed or died while on active duty in the armed forces of the United State or any of the armed forces of any of the governments associated with the United States in the wars, conflicts, or armed conflicts, or combat zones set forth in RSA 71:28, shall receive a tax credit in the amount of $1,400 for the taxes due upon the surviving spouse’s real and personal property, whether residential or not, in the same municipality where the surviving spouse is a resident.

Proration of Tax Credit (RSA 72:30)
If any entitled person or persons shall own a fractional interest in residential real estate each such entitled person shall be granted a tax credit in proportion to his interest therein with other persons so entitled, but in no case shall the total tax credit exceed the tax credit allowed under RSA 72:28 except as provided in RSA 72:31. 

Husband and Wife (RSA 72:31) 
A husband and wife, each qualifying for a tax credit, shall be granted a tax credit upon their residential real estate as provided under RSA 72:28.

Veterans of Allied Forces (RSA 72:32)
Any person otherwise entitled under the provisions of RSA 72:28, 30, and 31 who being a citizen of the United States, or being a resident of New Hampshire, at the time of his entry therein, served on active duty in the armed forces of any of the governments associated with the United States in the wars, conflicts or armed conflicts set forth in RSA 72:28 shall be entitled to the tax credit authorized by RSA 72:28.

Tax Credit for Service-Connected Total Disability RSA 72:35
1.     Any person who has been honorably discharged or an officer honorably separated from the military service of the United States and who has a total and permanent service-connected disability, or who is a double amputee or paraplegic because of a service-connected injury, or the surviving spouse of such a person, shall receive a yearly tax credit in the amount of $1400 of property taxes on his residential property.
 
2.     The tax credit in paragraph 1 may be applied only to property which is occupied as the principal place of abode by the disabled person or the surviving spouse. The tax credit may be applied to any land or buildings appurtenant to the residence or to manufactured housing if that is the principal place of abode.

3.     Any person applying for the tax credit granted in paragraph 1 shall furnish sufficient proof to the assessors or Selectmen that the disability on which the tax credit is based is service-connected. The tax credit shall be divided evenly among the number of tax payments required annually by the Town or city so that a portion of the tax credit shall apply to each tax payment to be made.

 

Exemption Programs

Blind Exemption (RSA 72:37)

  • Exemption Amount: $15,000 off the assessed value
  • Deadline to Apply: April 15th
  • Must be legally blind as determined by the Blind Services Department of the Vocational Rehabilitation Division of the Education Department.
  • Must own and occupy the residence.

Elderly Exemption (RSA 72:43a)

  • Deadline to Apply: April 15th
  • Must be 65 years of age on or before April 1st
  • Has resided in the State of New Hampshire for at least 3 consecutive years
  • INCOME limit of $27,500 if single, $39,500 if married, including social security
  • ASSETS not in excess of $75,000
Years of Age Amount of Exemption
65-74 years of age $25,000
75-79 years of age $50,000
80+ years of age $75,000

    

Tax Deferral for Elderly and Disabled (RSA 72:38a)

  • Must be at least 65 years of age or eligible under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act for benefits for the disabled. Applicant may be required to provide the Town with proof of Social Security benefit program for verification prior to final approval.
  • Deadline to Apply: On or before March 1 following the date of the notice of tax.
  • Must have owned the homestead for at least 5 years and be living in the home.
  • If there is a mortgage on the property, must have mortgage holder’s approval.
  • Must apply each year.
  • The total tax deferrals on a particular property shall not be more than 85% of its equity value.

Application for Elderly and Disabled Tax Deferral